QUICK TIP: The ONE Tool Required in Every Filmmaker's Audio Toolbox…


Okay you need a full tool bag to get started in film making but one item you should use on your first film, last film and all the films in between is a 2 pop. If you don’t know what a 2 pop is let’s be honest, you’re not a film maker. 

Editors use a MARKER or 2-pop at the start of every film. A 1 kHz tone that is one frame long and placed 2 seconds before the start of picture (whether that picture is black grey fading in or test pattern). It is a simple and effective method of ensuring synchronization between sound and picture in a video or film.

The ONE Tool Required in Every Filmmaker's Audio Toolbox… - 2-pop

Typically a 2-pop is placed at the end of a visual countdown. As the countdown hits 2 seconds before picture a number 2 is shown (usually in white as opposed to the black background white numbers of most countdowns) and the remainder of the 2 seconds prior to the program is black. This provides a unique point of reference where the frame-long image and frame-long sound should align, similar to the way a film clapperboard is used to generate a synchronization point.

A 2-pop is useful whenever picture and sound are handled separately. And in the real world of film making … this is almost always the case.

About the Author

The ONE Tool Required in Every Filmmaker's Audio Toolbox… - Joel_Porter_smJoel Porter brings 35 years of audio experience to MPI having worked both in the Detroit and Los Angeles production markets. His professional audio experiences have spanned working from Detroit to LA, working for such companies as Harmony Park Creative Group, RMS Productions, WJR, Hollywood Recording, and Zacuto Audio in Los Angeles.


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